Former Playboy model reaches plea deal in murder of 71-year-old psychiatrist


A former Playboy model, charged with the murder of a 71-year-old psychiatrist who police say helped pay his bills, has reached a plea deal, court records show.

Kelsey Turner, 29, was arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the April 2019 death of Thomas Burchard of Salinas, Calif., who authorities say was paying Turner’s rent in an apartment in Las Vegas.

Kelsey Turner, left, appears for his hearing at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, June 13, 2019.

Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, FILE

Burchard was found bludgeoned to death in the trunk of Turner’s Mercedes Benz after driving to Las Vegas to tell him he would no longer pay for his lifestyle, police said. He died of blunt force trauma to the head, said police, who found the car abandoned on a deserted road near Lake Mead after Burchard’s longtime girlfriend reported him missing.

As part of the plea deal, which was reached Wednesday in Clark County District Court, Turner pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The other charges she faces will be dismissed when she is sentenced, according to the agreement.

The particular deal made with the Clark County District Attorney’s office is called an Alford plea. Turner was able to maintain her innocence while pleading guilty, with the understanding that a jury would have convicted her based on the evidence presented by prosecutors.

Turner had previously pleaded not guilty to her original charges and was held at the Clark County Detention Center pending trial. She is now expected to be sentenced on January 10, 2023 and faces 10 to 25 years in prison.

Two accomplices accused of Burchard’s murder also reached plea agreements.

Turner’s co-defendant and former boyfriend Jon Kennison pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced in July to 18 to 25 years in prison.

Another co-defendant, the former couple’s roommate Diana Pena, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder in 2019 and has yet to be convicted.

ABC News

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